Motion Control/​Automation

Explore the latest developments in motion control and automation. Discover innovative advances from NASA and major research labs in robotics, autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, PID controller applications, motor drives and power transmissions.

Products : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Accelerometers

PCB® Automotive Sensors Division (Depew, NY) offers MEMS DC response accelerometers for improving the precision of low-frequency vibration and motion in automotive applications. Available in full-scale ranges from ±2g to ±200g, the accelerometers come in single-axis (Series 3711E and Series 3741E) and triaxial (Series 3713E)...

Products : Motion Control
3D Infrared Scanner

Aimess Services (Braunschweig, Germany) offers the R3Dscan 3D infrared scanner as an automated solution with direct connection to industrial robots. The scanner can be integrated into production lines to inspect dimension, shape, and position of objects in manufacturing cycles. The scanner was designed for inspecting objects...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless DC Motors

High Torque Density Brushless DC Motors from BEI Kimco (Vista, CA) are available in multiple designs. The motors use proprietary low magnetic circuit design techniques and feature a frameless motor design composed of a rotor and stator. This design enables integration into an existing assembly, minimizing the need for extra...

Products : Motion Control
Rigging Kit

AeroGo (Seattle, WA) introduced the Air Caster Rigging Kit that contains everything necessary to move heavy, awkward, or delicate loads using compressed air. The kit is housed in a rugged and lockable storage box, and can be configured to accommodate numerous and varied load requirements in a variety of applications, handling load...

Products : Motion Control
Driver and Controller

The Tolomatic ACS actuator control solution from Tolomatic (Hamel, MN) is a servo or stepper driver and controller developed for use with electric actuators. The system is ODVA™ conformant for EtherNet/IP™. The electric actuators and control solutions can replace pneumatic cylinders, and can automate manual processes...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Linear Actuators

Haydon Kerk™ Motion Solutions (Waterbury, CT) offers linear stepper actuators as replacements for solenoid valves in critical applications such as security door actuation systems. With over 200 thread designs and four motor frame sizes below 43 mm available, compact linear actuators can be custom designed and built to specific...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless Motor

maxon precision motors (Fall River, MA) offers the EC-I 40 DC brushless motor in a high-torque version for applications demanding very high torque. The iron-core internal rotor drive is available with a diameter of 40 mm, and delivers up to 234 mNm of torque. The motors feature high dynamics, low cogging torque, and high output...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Diaphragm Pump

Gardner Denver Thomas (Sheboygan, WI) offers the 1610 diaphragm pump that provides fast evacuation times for applications where speed is key. Volume flow rate is up to 8.0 l/min, vacuum up to 90%, and pressure up to 2.0 bar. Even when running under full load, the pump operates with a low sound level that remains stable over the...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Stepper Motors

Nanotec (Feldkirchen, Germany) introduced the SC3518 series stepper motors that feature high torque and EMC properties. The 2-phase hybrid stepper motors feature frame size NEMA 14 (35 mm) and a 1.8° step angle; torque is between 0.18 and 0.32 Nm. The motors are connected via an integrated connector that enables easy cable...

Products : Motion Control
Servo Drives

ADVANCED Motion Controls (Camarillo, CA) introduced the AZBH10A4 and AZBD10A4 micro-sized analog plug-in brushless servo drives that add Hall Velocity mode and Duty Cycle mode capabilities to the μZ series. The drives are designed for embedded applications in industries such as robotics, military, electric mobility, medical, and...

Products : Robotics, Automation & Control
Electronic Valves

Clippard Instrument Laboratory (Cincinnati, OH) introduced the DV-3 Minimatic® electronic 3-way valves that use a patented valving principle. The valves are suited for applications across numerous industries, and are modifiable with flow, mounting, pressure, voltage, material, and other options. Features include leak-free...

Products : Motion Control
Brushless Torque Motors

Allied Motion (Buffalo, NY) released the Megaflux MFH170i series of 170-mm (6.7-in) diameter housed brushless torque motors. The series is comprised of the 170 series brushless torque motor, a digital servo drive, and a programmable optical encoder integrated into a rugged machined aluminum housing with duplex bearings....

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Design and Engineering of Process Plants Based on the “Lego Principle”

Manufacturers in the process industries need to adjust to smaller batches and different types of product in the same plant. Plants based on the “Lego principle” are designed and engineered precisely to the respective task, whether for the production of a specific...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Electrochemically Enhanced Mechanical Polishing of Optics

Optical component fabrication using metals or ceramic materials involves many grinding and/or machining and polishing steps to achieve the proper form to the tolerances of imaging or photonic focusing instruments. These instruments range from infrared sensors, through visible and...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Expendable Cooling System for Venus Lander Concept

This innovation is a concept for a novel thermal architecture that would enable a day-long surface mission on Venus. A Venus lander mission could last much longer than a few hours on the surface of the planet by absorbing heat from the Venus environment, and from the electronics within the...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rapid Quench Furnace for Processing Powder in an Inert Environment

Ongoing work in the development and characterization of sensory materials requires the development of shape memory alloy (SMA) powder or particles. These are embedded in structural material so that the progression of localized damage that occurs during fatigue crack growth will...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Field Excavator with Embedded Force Measurement

The Centaur 2 (C2) platform is a compact vehicle with four independently steered and actuated wheel pods, allowing the vehicle to pivot in place and tilt in two directions. It is designed to interface with and carry the anthropomorphic robot torso of Robonaut 2. There are two nearly identical...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Very Low Thermal Power Waste Heat Recovery System for Deep Space Missions

Deep space missions, like the ones going to outer planets and those that rely on solar photovoltaic power, need extremely large solar arrays to produce that power for their operations because the solar intensity is so low at those locations. Hence, there was a need for a...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Loop Heat Pipe with Thermal Control Valve for Variable Thermal Link

Existing technologies [Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) and passive Thermal Control Valve (TCV)] are integrated and made to work together to provide a passive variable thermal link. The result is a novel LHP with passive TCV that was developed to provide variable heat rejection (turn-down)...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robots Learn to Observe, Adjust Their Force, and React


When robots and humans have to work together, it often leads to problems. Researchers on the CogIMon project want to teach robots to understand the forces during the movement of an object, and how to appropriately react to changes in weight or contact with the object while carrying it....

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Lunar Materials Handling System

A method was developed for transfer of lunar soil into and out of process equipment. The Lunar Materials Handling System (LMHS) conveys solids to a process vessel, provides a gas-tight seal, prevents seal contamination, and minimizes wear from abrasive particles. The LMHS increases equipment life and minimizes...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Two-Dimensional Dropped Sensor Suite

There are locations that are either too hazardous to land and gather data, or not practical to land. Also, data may need to be gathered from multiple (tens to hundreds) locations (sometimes at once). This is not feasible with a single lander or rover. A single lander does not provide any redundancy in case...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Controlling Execution Sequence Using Tactile-Classification During Manipulation by a Humanoid Robot

It is necessary to track system state during robotic manipulation. System state is defined to be manipulator and environment configuration. Without tracking, the robot is ignorant of the outcomes of its actions. State tracking enables the robot to...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Guidance Algorithm to Auto-Pilot Spacecraft in the Vicinity of Primitive Celestial Bodies

The dynamics in the vicinity of small bodies are highly nonlinear. Trajectory design in small-body environments requires accurate gravity and solar radiation pressure models to guarantee the satisfaction of spacecraft operational constraints such...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Safe Maritime Autonomous Path Planning in a High Sea State

The goal of this work was to develop algorithms and software to generate a path that takes into account the direction of waves and wind as much as possible in order to mitigate potential damage to an autonomous underwater vehicle. A risk-based path planning algorithm to analyze...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Human Grasp Assist

Repetitive manual operations can degrade the work efficiency of a human operator over time, with the cumulative stresses of repetitive motion potentially affecting the resultant product quality and/or process efficiency. Accordingly, a lightweight, motorized device has been created that a user/operator may wear on a hand and...

Who's Who : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Kimberly Hambuchen, Deputy Project Manager, Human Robotics System Project, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Kim Hambuchen is currently building user interfaces for Vakyrie, a six-foot-two, 286-pound humanoid robot. The two-legged Valkyrie builds on NASA’s Robonaut, a robotic assistant currently onboard the International Space Station.

News : Aerospace
System Lets Drones Fly Autonomously and Learn New Routes

Drones, say goodbye to pilots. With the goal of achieving autonomous flight of these aerial vehicles, researchers developed a vision and learning system to control and navigate them without relying on a GPS signal or trained personnel. The method estimates the position and orientation of...

News : Motion Control
Tiny Origami Robot Folds Itself Up

MIT researchers have developed a printable origami-inspired robot that, when heated, folds itself up from a flat sheet of plastic. The robot weighs a third of a gram and measures about a centimeter from front to back.

News : Motion Control
Smart Tablet Controls Swarms of Robots

Using a tablet and a red beam of light, researchers at Georgia Tech have created a system that controls a fleet of robots with the swipe of a finger. A person taps the tablet to control where the beam of light appears on a floor. The swarm robots then roll toward the illumination, constantly communicating...

Webcasts

On-Demand Webinars: Aerospace

Update on Civil Certification of Multicore Processing Systems in Commercial...

On-Demand Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Metal 3D Printing

On-Demand Webinars: Robotics, Automation & Control

Collaborative Robot Applications in the Automotive Industry

On-Demand Webinars: Materials

Enhance Product Design and Dependability with Advanced Coating Technologies

On-Demand Webinars: Green Design & Manufacturing

Rapid, Selective Volatile Emissions Testing for Vehicles and Components

On-Demand Webinars: Medical

New Developments in Catheter Shaft Components – Part 2